There’s been a lot of news lately about people who have been less than honest when it comes to selling wines at auction. Rudy Kurniawan sits in jail right now for allegedly fashioning fake bottles of prized wines while collector Eric Greenberg just lost a rich man’s game of hot potato to the tune of $12 million when a jury decided that he knowingly put counterfeit wines from his personal collection back on the auction block. Whereas these are cases of downright criminal activity that the average wine aficionado will never become the victim, there is still a good chance that at some point you may find yourself in the position of purchasing an older wine from somewhere other than the cellar door of the producer. This is where the importance of provenance should factor greatly into your purchasing criteria.
Basically, provenance is the history of how a wine has been shipped, handled and stored over the course of its life. If you were shopping for a used car you might get a Carfax report that details the ownership history and any accident reports or insurance claims that might alert you to possible problems down the road. Unfortunately there is no service that exists to enlighten consumers about the intimate details of a wine’s history. Did it originate from someone whose wine cabinet’s A/C condenser stopped working while they were on vacation in the middle of summer? Or maybe it spent a few days in a flooded basement after hurricane Sandy? While I must believe that most folks in the business of selling older wines are diligent in their efforts to avoid these pitfalls, I also know that there is no greater disappointment than spending your hard earned money on a wine that drinks at less than its full potential. It is for these reasons that Beltramo’s only sells wines acquired from reputable importers and domestic wholesalers or direct from the winery. All of the older wines we keep in our Domestic library were either purchased upon release and stored in our temperature controlled cellar or have come directly from the producer as a special procurement. There is no ‘caveat emptor’ at Beltramo’s. We love wine as much as you do and we want your purchases to meet your highest expectations.
We recently had the opportunity to purchase some wines from Mayacamas Vineyards that have never left their cellar high atop Mount Veeder. Provenance does not get any better than this and the prices are ludicrously low for a Cabernet of this quality. These wines are simply outstanding and offer an unadulterated insight into why Mayacamas Vineyards is universally considered a Napa Valley legend. Take a look at the fascinating history of the property by clicking here.
Along with these new acquisitions, I’ve also pulled a few gems from our library that have previously been unavailable for purchase. Be advised that our supply of these wines is very limited and when they’re gone, they’re gone for good. And if you need to have these wines shipped to you I would highly recommend using next day air or having us hold the wine until the weather is optimal.
2006 Alban Vineyards ‘Reva’ Syrah – $240.00
2002 Paloma ‘Spring Mountain’ Merlot – $79.99
–Mike Janeway, Domestic Wine Buyer